Wednesday 13 November 2019 / 5:52 PM Local Authorities

Labour council leaders write to the Secretary of State calling for urgent clarity around the “Bellwin Scheme”

Following the devastating floods across Yorkshire, the North and the East Midlands, concerned Labour council leaders of affected areas have written to the Secretary of State regarding the Bellwin Scheme.

Under the Bellwin scheme, councils can apply for reimbursement of the costs they incur as part of their immediate response to major incidents such as floods.

They are seeking immediate reassurance “that eligible claims made to MHCLG before the 12th December will be paid in full and in a timely manner, a commitment that the Labour Party is giving should they win next month’s General Election”.

They also write to urge the Government to extend the deadline by which each local authority has to complete all works for which they can claim under the scheme:

“The Labour Government in June 2007 extended the deadline to six months from two, and Labour is committing to do so again should they win power on 12th December. It would be helpful if you were able to make a similar commitment.”

The council leaders are also highlighting the effects that Tory cuts are having on councils ability to respond to flood incidents:

“Councils will be left to pick up the majority of the cost of fixing this longer term damage, none of which will be covered by the Bellwin scheme. But local authority budgets are under immense strain as a direct result of the cuts made by your government since 2010. Core funding for councils has reduced by almost £16 billion in the last decade.”